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Ventilate Home Before Occupancy (Indoor airPLUS Requirement)

DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (Revision 07)

Exhibit 1 Mandatory Requirements.
Exhibit 1, Item 1) Certified under the ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes Program or the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Program.
Exhibit 1, Item 6) Certified under EPA Indoor airPLUS.

EPA Indoor airPLUS (Revision 04)

7.2 Ventilation after Material Installation. Ventilate the home with outside air at the highest rate and duration practical, meeting ventilation requirements for outdoor air flow and humidity control (see Item 4.5):

  • During and shortly after installing products that are known sources of contaminants (e.g., cabinets, carpet padding and painting), AND
  • During the period between finishing and occupancy.

Advisory: If whole house ventilation cannot be scheduled prior to occupancy, advise the buyer to operate the ventilation system at the highest rate it can provide during the first few months of occupancy, meeting the above requirements.

Additional Notes:

To protect the health of home occupants and construction crews, select the lowest volatile organic compound (VOC)-containing products available. Even when selecting low-VOC certified paints, coatings, cabinets, carpet, and composite wood, these products may not be 100% emissions-free. In building materials, VOCs tend to be emitted at the highest levels when the materials are new, with emissions lessening over time. Therefore, to protect construction teams and future occupants, ventilate the home during and shortly after installing products that are known sources of contaminants (e.g., cabinets, carpet padding, paint, and other finishes). Also ventilate during the time between construction completion and occupancy. See the guides Certified Low VOC Pressed Wood MaterialsCertified Low/No VOC Paints and Finishes, and Certified Low/No VOC Carpets for more information.

Contributors to this Guide:

Home Innovations Research Labs, lead for the Partnership for Home Innovation (PHI), a DOE Building America Research Team

More Info.

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Case Studies

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References and Resources*

  1. Author(s): U.S. Department of Energy
    Organization(s): DOE
    Publication Date: May, 2019

    Standard requirements for DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home national program certification.

  2. Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Organization(s): EPA
    Publication Date: February, 2018

    Website providing the technical specifications and related documents for home builders, subcontractors, architects, and other housing professionals interested in certifying a home to the EPA's Indoor airPLUS program requirements.

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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